Tech Review: vcita – A Business Management Platform for Service-Based HustlesEditorial Team
With so many software products available on the market nowadays, it feels like small business entrepreneurs have gotten used to working with multiple apps to take care of things like scheduling appointments, getting paid by customers, relationship management, and nurturing leads.
Using a diverse array of apps to run your business comes with many disadvantages. Subscription costs can quickly add up. Keeping everything integrated properly is a delicate art that can often demand hours of troubleshooting.
Knowing, at any given moment, which dashboard you need to be looking at can be taxing on your energies, not to mention all the logins you need to remember and keep secure. Finally, constantly switching digital work environments can take a toll on your “flow state,” as you’ll need to get reacclimated every time you turn your attention to a different app.
For these reasons, a lot of the small business owners I speak with have been telling me recently that they’ve been seeing value in dropping the apps they use for just one thing and instead using platforms with more comprehensive management capabilities.
I’ve also been hearing a lot about business management app vcita, which automates and streamlines your appointment bookings, accounts receivable processes, customer communications, lead capture and email and SMS marketing. So I thought I’d give it a thorough test drive and see what the buzz is all about.
Here’s what I found.
Let clients book your services online
Too many small businesses look at their web presences as being strictly informational. With vcita, you can make many strides in your digital transformation, creating a digital hub for all customer communications.
The appointment scheduler offers easy appointment booking for customers through a self-service channel. This means that customers can use it to book their own appointments at whatever day and time suit them best.
By providing self-service options, you significantly speed up appointment booking workflows on your website and reduce the chances of a conflict. What’s more, vcita’s client portal lets customers book your services and make payments from a single interface. In this manner, self-service options save your time, as you won’t have to go back and forth over email to find a suitable time for an appointment.
All you have to do is create an account and then add your services, availability parameters, and sync with your preferred calendar, so no conflicts arise. Next, you need to add an embedded scheduling widget, or a scheduling button to your Facebook page, email signature and Google My Business profile, and that’s it – you’re ready to start receiving appointment requests.
Clients can choose whether to schedule, reschedule, or cancel appointments by themselves on your website using vcita’s self-service options.
You can set up whatever service products make sense in the context of your business, associate prices with each, and so forth. Want to use bookings as a lead capture mechanism, requiring RSVPs for your next Facebook Live broadcast? No problem – just set it up as a free event.
If you want to only accept bookings from serious customers, you can require pre-payment. If you want to fulfill your services with online meetings, you can use the native Zoom integration. Selling a series of consulting sessions or fitness classes? There’s a cool “packages” feature, which also allows you to bundle physical products as part of the deal.
By bundling multiple appointments or services at a discounted rate, you can provide packages to your clients to motivate them to buy from you. Packages encourage clients to spend more and stay loyal to your brand in the long term, and because they’re paid in advance, they help with cash flow.
For instance, a meditation coach may sell a one-hour training session for $30 and offer a package for a one-week challenge pack that provides multiple one-hour guided sessions, along with a scented candle emblazoned with the coach’s logo, for a total sum of $100.
Put simply, packages allow you to provide special pricing on your normal products or services, which in return helps you boost your average order value and grow your bottom line. What’s more, you can set up pre-order options for your packages and instantly start filling up your calendar with appointments.
Manage your client base
It’s important for SMBs to manage their clients from a single app, as it gives a better idea of each of their client’s past interactions with your business such as appointments, invoices, payments, conversations, and documents.
The vcita mobile app also promotes running your business remotely on the go and lets your clients reach out to you anytime, anywhere. Additionally, with vcita’s powerful mobile app, you can manage contacts and clients from a central location without having to worry about checking different apps to stay in touch with your contacts. And best of all, you can do all of this remotely or in your office using vcita.
The platform also lets you assign different team members to different clients. This not only boosts productivity by dividing responsibilities but also helps in providing much better client support globally for your products and services.
The client management features supported by vcita include a built-in self-service client portal that lets clients schedule appointments, make payments, and share files and documents.
With vcita’s intelligent search tool, you can make CRM searches to find clients, appointments, notes, conversations, phone numbers, events and products. All you have to do is start typing the search box provided, and you’ll find what you’re looking for in seconds. In fact, it even starts displaying the search results as you type, which makes it super quick to find what you’re looking for.
Additionally, vcita allows you to configure automated meeting reminders and custom post-meeting follow-ups, which reduces the number of people that don’t show up after registering. This also saves you time on various admin-related tasks that are no longer needed.
Accept payments online
Having a business management app that provides built-in payment options is essential for SMBs. An app with a built-in payment system can help you streamline and automate accounts receivable processes.
Sending your clients an estimate, invoice, or receipt during or after a meeting or appointment is pretty common practice for most service businesses. Ideally, you want your clients to be able to make payments from the same platform they use to book an appointment or attend a meeting.
The vcita platform’s online payment system lets users generate estimates, quotes, branded invoices, and receipts. After your clients get an estimate or an invoice, they can easily pay using their credit card or PayPal.
Prefer to invoice your client manually at the end of the month? Simply head to the relevant client record, create a new invoice, and all services delivered that you’ve yet to bill for will automatically flow in.
For in-person services, the pay by mobile features make collecting payments easier, faster, and more secure. This way, you can charge your clients for products or services by sending them a payment link via text. This eliminates friction in the payment process.
Additionally, vcita lets you add a payment button to your estimates and invoices. This way, clients can pay easily by clicking on the payment button. The payment experience is exactly like what they know from apps like Venmo, only in this case, it’s all pre-integrated with your CRM.
With vcita, staying on top of payments – including pending or overdue invoices – is simple and easy to manage. With built-in automated payment reminders, you can minimize time-to-payment. Other than providing a robust online payment management system, vcita also helps you keep track of every client’s balance and payment history.
Set up marketing campaigns
By leveraging cross-channel marketing that syncs with your CRM, you can personalize the experience of your clients. You can also make it easier for targeted segments of your clients to book appointments with you. Ideally, you want your clients to book appointments directly from the email you sent them, without needing to visit a different page.
With its libraries of pre-built templates, vcita offers several extensive marketing tools that can help you manage a cross-channel marketing strategy for both email and SMS. With vcita, you get easy yet powerful audience segmentation and personalization features that help you tailor marketing messages to deliver a more personalized experience to clients.
Mobile users won’t miss out on any of your marketing campaigns, as vcita’s pre-built email templates work seamlessly on mobile devices. You can browse and choose from a library of conversion-optimized templates that can help you increase your business’s outreach without increasing costs.
Additionally, vcita allows you to run automated campaigns such as individual and drip campaigns by using the built-in templates that are designed for client retention and engagement. You also don’t have to worry about knowing whether your last marketing campaign was successful or not. With vcita, you can track client activity and gauge the performance of all your campaigns.
Hustlers looking for a comprehensive business management solution can benefit from using an online business management app like vcita. It’s easy to use for both business owners and clients, and it takes the hassle out of many aspects of running a service business.